SUMMARY OF GRADE
Significant Accomplishments: Required high school course with embedded financial literacy instruction; Financial literacy standards in most K-12 social studies standards
Needs Improvement: Needs to require high school stand-alone personal finance course and implement grade-specific K-8 financial literacy standards
AN IN-DEPTH LOOK
Idaho requires a one credit economics course for a high school diploma. In the Idaho Content Standards for Economics, three of the 24 standards are personal finance-specific. In 2007, Idaho House Concurrent Resolution No. 10 urged the State Board of Education “to immediately begin exploring ways to include in the public-school curricula a financial literacy program… and reviewing existing financial literacy programs and materials that are available, with the aim of formalizing personal financial management as a requirement for graduation.”
Personal finance is embedded under economics in some of the K-12 Social Studies standards. Specifically, there are personal finance objectives in grades 1-5, U.S. History I and II, and Economics.
In March 2020, Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 128 states findings of the legislature and encourages “Idaho high schools, colleges, and universities to offer credit-bearing personal finance classes to their students in order to impart financial literacy and promote financial stability among young Idahoans.” While it is encouraging that Idaho is taking steps to ensure further financial literacy education, this resolution has not yet led to a required standalone personal finance course in Idaho.
Idaho receives a “C” for financial literacy instruction, as it provides some instruction through the embedded standards in the required high school economics course and some K-8 standards. Idaho needs to create Grades 6-8 financial literacy standards and require a stand-alone personal finance course for high school graduation in order to raise its grade to an “A.”